We spent time together for months – until he disappeared

Chat at 1 p.m.

Hi Meredith,

I'm a single woman who has a good friend who is a single guy. We met at my former office, where we worked together for about a year until I quit to go back to school. After I left, we started meeting up for drinks almost weekly. That routine has lasted for nine months or so. I love spending time with him – we talk about deep things, personal things, silly things, and I laugh so hard it hurts. We stay out for hours, even though it only feels like minutes, and he always walks me to my train after, even though I know his train is in the opposite direction. And he always goes in for the hug when we say goodbye. Seeing him is the highlight of my week.

To be honest, I can't tell if he has any interest in a relationship or not. There are definitely moments when I think he's flirting with me, but it never really goes beyond that. Personally, I'm not sure if I would schlep up to the city every week for someone who was just a friend, but he might just be a better person than I am. But for my part, I can't quite get him out of my head and increasingly, I've been trying to work up the courage to ask him if he wants anything more than just friendship.

But, PLOT TWIST, a few weeks ago, he just vanished. He canceled our planned outing at the last minute with only a vague "something's come up, can we reschedule?” And I have not heard from him since. I've sent a few texts since then, first trying to "reschedule" and then trying to figure out what's going on. This isn't entirely unprecedented, as he does have a bit of a flakey streak and sometimes requires some prodding to answer text messages in a timely manner. But dead silence for three weeks is new, alarming, and hurtful. I don't get the impression that he has any emergencies going on in his personal life – he’s still posting random, lighthearted things on social media regularly (I KNOW, I KNOW, NO SOCIAL MEDIA STALKING). So I guess my question is this: What's his deal? Why would he go to all this trouble to meet up every week if he wasn't interested? And why would it abruptly stop? I'm feeling heartbroken, even though I don't have a right to be since we never actually dated, and I'm finding the lack of answers and silent treatment incredibly hurtful. Did I wait too long to have the "what is this" conversation and he got bored? Is there anything I can do now?

- Ghosted

1. We all say "no social media stalking," but I understand why you looked. I mean, you were worried! You were left with a mystery. You answered it, though. He didn't disappear from the world, so he is accounted for. The end.

2. You do have he right to be heartbroken. He ghosted you after nine months of a routine. That would hurt, even if you only liked him as a friend. Please let yourself be sad and frustrated. You don't have to earn those feelings by being a girlfriend. You've been in each other's lives, and that's enough.

3. I can't say why this happened. If only I could read his mind. All I know is that you wish you had said something sooner. That's one lesson here. Sometimes people write in because they're worried about ruining a great relationship by disclosing a crush. But a friendship isn't worth preserving if it's all about wishing, hoping, and waiting. Your connection to this man was bound to change once you got honest.

4. You could write to him (email?) and tell him you're still worried and would like to talk. If he doesn't respond, there's not much more you can do.

But yes, ignore social media starting now. Also remind yourself that flakey behavior isn't something you want in a partner. Maybe you'd rather be with someone who communicates and shows up.

– Meredith

Readers? Reach out again?